CNBC Shows Whats Wrong With the American Media

CNBC Shows Whats Wrong With the American Media

I am not a fan of what American politics has become. Both our politicians and our media lack integrity.

  1. While there are some good people in politics, I am disgusted at the corruption in both the Republican & Democrat establishments.
  2. The media has stopped reporting news, works to create it to fit their agenda and stifle voices of dissent. I don’t trust them to be honest.

The latest affirmation of how arrogant our media has become was demonstrated in last night’s so-called “debate” hosted by the extreme left “news” organization called CNBC. The CNBC moderators lacked professionalism, exuded arrogance, and revealed their obvious partisan disdain for the Republican candidates. After a series of foolish questions that failed to advance any meaningful debate, Sen. Ted Cruz responded with both truth and clarity.

CNBC knows this content is embarrassing and that is why they tried to block me from putting it on YouTube.  I filed a dispute under Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law which allows citizens to reproduce, distribute or exhibit portions of copyrighted motion pictures or televised programming under certain circumstances without authorization of the copyright holder, but CNBC refused my claim in their effort to silence my free speech. Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.40.45 AM

I applaud Ted Cruz for his words.  Watching the CNBC “moderators” ask these juvenile questions was embarrassing.

There are candidates on this stage I would never vote for, but if there are any worth my vote I need to know where they stand on key issues. But even to the ones I dislike, this is not how any candidate should be treated regardless of party affiliation. These debates are meant for people to watch and get informed about the positions of each candidate… not a vehicle for liberal reporters to attack.

We, the American people, should demand better.

I still plan to vote my conscience and make an informed decision in this next Presidential election in support of our Constitutional Republic, but I have little faith in the system as it exists today.

[REVIEW] Proclaim Presentation Software

[REVIEW] Proclaim Presentation Software

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Proclaim is Cloud connected software that equips teams in churches of every size with the integrated media tools necessary to enhance the Sunday worship experience. Proclaim is a product of Faithlife which is owned and operated by the same folks that develop Logos Bible Software. In 2012, Logos jumped into the church presentation market offering a tool they hoped would fill the gaps left open in existing software offerings. You can brush up on some of the competition HERE, but below let me point out some of the features that make Proclaim worth your consideration.

Useful Features

  • Unlimited use on any number of computers with just one subscription.
  • Mac and Windows compatible.
  • Purchase comes with $1,000 worth of media in a growing database of resources.
  • Conveniently connects to CCLI SongSelect, Planning Center Online, Graceway Media, and Logos Bible Software.
  • Proclaim Signals allow for interactive services from people on mobile devices.
  • Control presentations from a mobile device or tablet with the Proclaim Remote.

Special Features

In addition to the many useful features listed above, there are a few unique features worth mentioning.

Sermon Recording

As a church planter, I know first-hand that getting the right tools and the people trained is a challenge. In most cases, to create a podcast or get the sermon audio on your website typically means purchasing a series of separate programs for recording and editing along with additional hardware.

In this recent video, I outline some of the best audio/video recording hardware and software options for creating a studio for under $500.

And once you get all your tools together, you still have to hope your sound team remembers to start the recording on time. And once everything is recorded, it still takes a few hours for a volunteer to edit and upload the sermon.  Proclaim aims to solve this set of problems by integrating recording into their software using “Sermon Audio Cues.”  What this means is that the computer tech. tells the software when to start recording and as soon as the corresponding slide is displayed, the software begins to do the work. You can set up multiple start and stop cues with relative ease.

Once the sermon is over, you can add all the details right inside Proclaim, trim the audio and publish directly to the Faithlife server which synchronizes all of your sermon slides for viewing. You can even export the audio for your iTunes podcast. All-in-all, Proclaim is a relatively simple solution for a church that does not have a large technical volunteer or support staff.

The only caution I offer is that when you put all your technology eggs in one basket, one glitch means everything is impacted. So if Proclaim crashes and your slides go down, it also means your sermon recording goes down as well. So depending on your situation, you may want to set up a redundant recording system.

Scaled Pricing

Proclaim can be purchased through a monthly plan that is scaled based on the size of your church’s congregation. This is a great benefit to church plants and smaller churches who may not have the upfront money to pay for everything upfront.

  • 1-99 = $19.95/month or $199.95/yr
  • 100-199 = $24.95/month or $224.95/yr
  • 200-499 = $29.95/month or $249.95/yr
  • 500-999 = $34.95/month or $274.95/yr
  • 1000-1499 = $39.95/month or $299.95/yr
  • 1500-2499 = $44.95/month or $324.95/yr
  • 2500+ = $49.95/month or $349.95/yr

One Caution

I wont classify this as a negative, but just a cation to any church meeting in a place without internet or WiFi connectivity. One of the convenient features of Proclaim is outlined on their website as follows,

“Your team can arrange song lyrics, announcement slides, and sermon notes from anywhere. One On Air license allows you to install Proclaim on as many computers as you want (Mac or PC).”

The Cloud connected solution is a fabulous solution to a common problem for keeping multiple volunteers coordinated, but the live broadcast of the services means that Proclaim works best in a building that has a strong and reliable WiFi network.

While an internet connection is needed to sync presentations between computers, once synced, presentations are stored locally and will not be disrupted if the internet goes out mid-service. That being said, for a church plant like mine, which meets in a building that does not have any Wifi, some features such as remote control, are not available. If you are in this situation, you definitely want to try it out first to ensure you can live with these inherent limitations.

Overall, I give Proclaim 4 out of 5 stars. Try Proclaim using their 30-day free trial and judge for yourself if ti is the right solution for your church.

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Review Disclaimer

Dr. Miller was a former Logos Employee from 2010 through 2011. He was provided a free copy of the product for review purposes. Dr. Miller is also a published author with Logos Bible Software.

Absolute Ethics For the Moment

Absolute Ethics For the Moment

We live in the age of Empiricism—the world encountered through the 5 senses is the ultimate source of personal truth.  This is not a new idea, but goes back 2,000 years to the writings of Aristotle. In his work “Nicomachean Ethics,” he outlines the goal of life as happiness achieved through the contemplation of philosophic truth. Aristotle taught,

aristotle1Thus the moral ideal appears as a code of rules, accepted by the agent, but as yet to him without rational justification and without system or unity. But the rules prescribe no mechanical uniformity: each within its limits permits variety, and the exactly right amount adopted to the requirements of the individual situation (and every actual situation is individual) must be determined by the intuition of the moment. There is no attempt to reduce the rich possibilities of right action to a single monotonous type.

The United States of America was founded, in part, in Aristotle’s philosophical goal of happiness. John Stuart Mill picked up on this theme in his work “On Liberty.”

John_Stuart_Mill_by_London_Stereoscopic_Company,_c1870“As it is useful that while mankind are imperfect there should be different opinions, so is it that there should be different experiments of living; that free scope should be given to varieties of character, short of injury to others; and that the worth of different modes of life should be proved practically, when any one thinks fit to try them.. It is desirable, in short, that in things which do not primarily concern others, individuality should assert itself. Where, not the person’s own character, but the traditions of customs of other people are the rule of conduct, there is wanting one of the principal ingredients of human happiness, and quite the chief ingredient of individual and social progress.” — John Stewart Mill, “On Liberty” Ch. III

The pursuit of individual happiness rooted in a personal ethic was fundamental to the founding of the USA.  n 1776, the thirteen United States wrote in the Declaration of Independence.

declaration of independanceWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Today, we live in an ailing culture dedicated to the pursuit of personal happiness as determined by the experience of each individual. We see daily the sickness caused by our radical pursuit of autonomous individuality guided only by the paradox of the ever-changing absolute truth of the moment.

How can we heal the cultural sickness?

Healing will come through nothing less than a rejection “happiness” and the pursuit of a communal and transcultural ethic rooted in worship of YHWH.

Conversations Using The Home Plate Strategy

Conversations Using The Home Plate Strategy

Learning to ask questions is a skill that leads to the greatest discoveries in life.

  • As a professor, I employ a Socratic method in the classroom.
  • As a coach, I help people discover their own path with questions.
  • As an apologist, I use questions to lead people to discover truth.
  • And, as a friend, I ask questions to build relationships.

But I am far from perfect.

That is why I am so inspired by the Home Plate strategy presented to me by Peter Strople. A few years back, I had the chance to sit in a room with a few select people and hear Peter share how he connects with other people using his Home Plate. These basic questions help anyone start a conversation that exposes both a person’s being and purpose. Here is the essence of each base.

  • Base 1. What is your biggest passion? What do you love to do?
  • Base 2. What is your unique contribution to the world around you? What draws people to you?
  • Base 3. What is the biggest impact you have made in your life?
  • Base 4. Is the impact yo’ve made sustainable? What will be your legacy in life?

Check out the video below to hear Peter Stople himself talk about the Home Plate strategy.

 

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